It’s a First Draft Not A Finished Novel

It’s a First Draft Not A Finished Novel

I’m very proud of my accomplishment. I wrote 45,000-word first draft of a science fiction novel. I’ve told a few people since and I am quite surprised by the majority response. I think most believe I wrote a finished completed work of fiction. The number one reply is, “Have you given it to anyone to read?” They think it’s my number one mistake of why I’m nowhere near publishing. I then have to go into a lengthy explanation that my first draft is a complete mess I never edit as I wrote. I started thinking; do others believe a book, magazine or newspaper article they read is some genus one-time attempt?

The friends who want to read it even though it is not in a ready state. I’m ecstatic to have the support except they think I’m being shy and overprotective of my “baby”. I make note of their names and tell them when I’m ready I’ll send them a copy. To try and bring the point home, all I request is a, don’t worry about hurting my feelings evaluation. In spite of that they want it now.

I recently had to tell a group of people my still developing writing habit. The habit of putting the first draft away for an amount of time, so I can step back to my piece with fresh eyes, and continue to work on it. The retort was still someone can do that for me. I found it hard to explain that I wasn’t nervous about someone reading my work. I love good and bad criticism. Well, perhaps love is the wrong word. Makes it sound like I haven’t had bad criticism that didn’t make me recoil, wince, or shrink. On the contrary, when I stop being emotionally involved in my piece, some of that critique helps me work the story into a stronger quantity.

The other confusing question is, “will I self-publish”. Self-publish? First, I have to explain I’m not writing to publish. I’m writing for myself. There was a time I tried to write for a future famous novel and my writing was non-existence. Now I just try to work and see what comes from the mind. I get strange looks. Next I explain, “I will try and publish a book one day however, that is a step I’ll think about when I get there”.

Second, I express my dream to try going the traditional route before the self-publishing way. Everyone seems to know someone who has self published and has done well. That’s great but it’s not my first move. I think it would be nice to say some publishing house sees brilliance in my work and wants to help support me. Show me the way. I expect generic, mean, or suggestive dismissal in my inbox. Be like the writers I’ve read with their own stacks of rejections before hitting it big.

There are always the suggestions of what I should write. It is a memoir on their life, or a book about crazy women and clueless men with their help. I have to look at them and say, you don’t need me. You sit down and start writing your story, your idea. I may say I’m a writer but it is not limited to me or that person you see on the book covers in the bookstore. It’s your brainchild. Still people think it’s not what they can do.

I’m happy people are proud of the work I accomplished and they want to see me succeed except there is a lot more labor than just the first attempt at writing.

Today’s Count: 842 Total: 48,053

February 28, 2013
And I’m done. My first draft of my first novel. Holy shit I did it. I must say I learned so much from this beautiful failure. This was a novel on an image. I started writing with a picture in my mind and I kept the story going just with clique scenes and a goal to make it to 50,000 words. I didn’t make it to 50,000 but who cares. I wrote a full story. Beginning to end.

I learned so much. I now know my next story will have an outline. I learned where I can write. I learned to push through the hard parts. I learned to finish. I learned when I look over this story in a few months for the rewrite 95% of this story will be tossed and I’m fine with that.

The first draft is always shit. And mine was a big smelly one. But I can always say hell I did it! I did it for me.

Just Write

June 27, 2012

Words written today, 664. Editing while writing is one of my offenses but I didn’t go back. Well…okay, I did but I realized rewriting would get me no where in the story so separated the past writing by putting it in parentheses and wrote what I wanted to write from there. Now I have the start of two scenes in the beginning of chapter two but like Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” and I just have to keep going. Edit and rewrite at the end.